12 - Refuge Albert 1er



The Albert 1er refuge is

At the ticket office, take a one-way ticket Charamillon cable car + Autannes chairlift and return Charamillon cable car.

Upon arrival at the chairlift, take a right on the path leading to lake Charamillon and the Albert 1er refuge.

Once there, enjoy the view of the Mont-Blanc from a different angle.

After a half hour, ignore a path on the left, that goes up to the dried up lake of Charamillon. One quickly joins a crossroads, to the right of which is a path leading up to the middle station of Charamillon that you will follow on the return leg. Continue along the even trail, where the landscape unfolds bend after bend.

After about an hour, one can already see the Tour glacier, before reaching an area equipped with handrails, to negotiate a short steep passage.

After 1h30, you set foot on the moraine of the glacier at an intersection on the right of which is a path that climbs by the edge of the moraine from the village of the Tour. One dominates the glacier’s séracs and crevasses which is very impressive. You can also see the refuge at the bottom of the ice plateau overhanging it.

Then begins the steep final climb (2,702 m) with the refuge in target that you reach by a rocky path in two hours. Behind the refuge, you have beautiful views, particularly on the Tour and Chardonnet peaks. After that is the sector for glacier hikes to nearby Switzerland or for mountaineers to the Peaks. You can picnic above the refuge on the edge of the glacier (bring warm clothes) in the company of yellow beaked jackdaws (large crows). You may be able to observe roped climbers in the middle of the vastness.

For the return leg, take the same route back. At the intersection of the Tour panel, do not take the path that goes down following the moraine of the glacier towards the Tour, but take the path on the right taken in the morning.

After an hour you reach the intersection crossed in the morning. This time, take the trail to the left that goes down through the Balme pastures and its herds of Herens cows towards the middle station of Charamillon. Ignore the path on the right taken in the morning, that goes back to the Autannes chairlift.

The route back offers views of the Emosson dam and the Aiguilles Rouges.

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